When you think of extreme hormonal changes, you often associate this with the teen years during puberty. However, women will find that they deal with another period of time where their hormones are often unbalanced: menopause. Menopause is a natural bodily change and transition, but often occurs after a transition period known as perimenopause.
What is perimenopause?
The doctors at Woodlands OBGYN Associates describe the time period called perimenopause as the beginning of the transition to menopause. Menopause is determined as the period of time a woman reaches after she has been period-free for a full year. The transition period is called perimenopause and is accompanied by many symptoms. These include:
- Changes in your menstrual cycle (time between periods, length of periods, severity of periods)
- Difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- Experiencing hot flashes or night sweats
- Increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and irritation
Women who are beginning to notice these changes may find themselves in perimenopause. Many women deal with the symptoms fine, while others seek assistance in reducing these issues. Women struggling with irregular periods may find that the use of birth control pills or other medications can assist them in creating a more predictable menstrual cycle each month. Individuals with feelings of depression may want to talk to their doctor about the use of a low-dose antidepressant to improve their mood and help them through this transition period emotionally.
When does perimenopause start, and how long does it last?
The period at which a woman starts perimenopause typically occurs in the 40’s or 50’s, though some women begin to experience it during their late 30’s. Everybody is different, so this transition period can last many years for some or be a short period of time for others. When a woman has no longer had a period within on years’ time, they are then in the stage of menopause and are no longer able to become pregnant.
Discuss with our team the transition into menopause
If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of perimenopause, or want to talk to an experienced provider to know what to expect during this time, we welcome you to book a consultation visit with our team at Woodlands OBGYN Associates.